Vikings OC Kubiak: First-round pick Justin Jefferson 'exactly what we drafted'

After trading wide receiver Stefon Diggs this offseason, the Minnesota Vikings used the first-round pick they got in return to replace him.

Justin Jefferson was selected by the Vikings with the 22nd-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak likes what he sees early on in training camp.

"He's exactly what we drafted," Kubiak told reporters Sunday. "We knew he was a very talented young man who had a comfort zone in the slot because he did that a lot.

"When you sit there and talk routes and stuff, this kid's very knowledgeable. He's been coached by some good coaches before he got here. So he's working."

Jefferson starred in LSU's dynamic passing offense in 2019, catching 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns en route to their College Football Playoff National Championship. The 21-year-old sports good size (6-foot-1), speed, and play-making ability after the catch, but replacing the elite route-running and sure hands of Diggs will be a tall order for the rookie.

When it comes to Jefferson being a starter on Week 1, Kubiak said he will be competing with Olabisi Johnson, Tajae Sharpe and Chad Beebe for the remaining three spots, which gives the rookie an opportunity to fill Diggs' No. 2 role opposite Adam Theilen.

"We're going to find out," Kubiak about Jefferson's chances. "We're going to let these guys compete.''

Kubiak will be assuming the role of play-caller after Kevin Stefanski's departure to the Browns, and hopes to install a balanced attack for the Vikings in 2020. Quarterback Kirk Cousins and running back Dalvin Cook and Theilen offer a solid trio of weapons for the Vikings offense, and key veteran leadership for a rookie aiming to contribute.

Getting acclimated to the speed of the pro game will be one Jefferson's biggest tests, however, and Kubiak mentioned this week will be great gauge to see what they really have in their first-rounder.

"This is going to be a grinder week," Kubiak said. "We've got a lot of football practices this week, a ton of reps so everybody is going to get a good hard look. We'll get our pads on throughout the course of this week, so we should be able to take a good look at what's going on. That's when the game gets real."

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